Community raising hope and support for Milton 7-year-old needing heart transplant

A diagnosis Avery's family never saw coming now leaves her in the hospital for over a month.
A diagnosis Avery's family never saw coming now leaves her in the hospital for over a month.(Kim Rafferty)
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 2:35 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - It was a medical diagnosis that came fast and surprised the entire family after Ginger Sweat took her daughter Avery to the doctor for a checkup.

“It started about 6 weeks ago,” Ginger Sweat said. “I was just bringing up little minor things that I didn’t think were significant. She was basically showing signs of asthma.”

Weeks went by and Avery was feeling even more tired. It was harder for her to breathe and the medicine was not working so they took her to Cabell-Huntington Hospital’s emergency room.

“My husband went with her and I went home to bake because my at-home bakery our only income source,” Sweat said.

The bakery and their lives were put on hold when doctors found something was wrong with Avery’s heart.

Avery was rushed to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

At first things looked like they were getting better.

“We had a really good stint where she was my baby she was back she was laughing she was eating,” Sweat said.

A routine swab test used to see if Avery could get up and walk around sent her into a panic attack and her heart could not handle the reaction to stress. Avery had a stroke 2 days ago.

“She asked me if she was going to die and she said just please don’t let me die mommy please I wish I could be someone else,” Sweat said.

Doctors diagnosed her with Dilated Cardio Myopathy and told Ginger and her husband that little Avery would need a heart transplant.

Ginger is struggling with what that means.

“The unbelievable fact that a life has to be lost to give my baby life I mean someone has to pass away and lose their child it’s just devastating I would not wish that on any mother,” Sweat said.

Ginger and her family are emotionally and financially drained, still trying to care for her two other children. She says at this point, she has seen all three of her children placed on a ventilator.

Ginger said Avery must stay in the hospital for at least a month.

The power of prayer is getting them through each day and the community of Milton is rallying around them.

Mia Brewer is 7 years old and one of Avery’s friends. She came up with the idea for Avery’s Hearts. She is selling necklaces and keychains to raise what she can to give to the family.

“Avery has a broken heart. It is important for people to want to help people,” Mia said. “Because God wants you to help.”

Mia’s mom said it is part of Mia’s story to help others. She was adopted at a young age with a drug addiction. Her mom said Mia has an understanding of what it means for someone to be in pain and hurting at a young age, which is what drove her to help Avery.

The necklaces come in three different sizes, and are little hearts meant to signify Avery’s heart. To get one, e-mail Mia’s mom, Leigh-Ann Brewer-Henderson at

Other community members have set up Go Fund Me accounts to help Avery while they operate on no income. If you would like to donate to Avery’s family here is the link:

Even T-shirts have been designed in hopes of raising money for the family.

A community working to hoping to lift them up with love and a whole lot of faith.

Copyright 2021 WSAZ. All rights reserved.